Avant Gardening

Critters & Bugs – Spring 2018

It’s spring! While we are grateful that the temps are raising and the sun is shining (mostly), there are some new critters on the block worth knowing about that could affect your home and garden!

Jumping worms found their way into Dane County gardens about five years ago and have caused a stir especially among friends who share plants. Their little cocoons over winter and hatch in the soil and are therefore easily transported from bed to bed. By now, most gardeners are on the alert for these not-so-friendly critters. The good news is that they may not be as bad as we originally thought! While we wish they weren’t here at all (along with Garlic Mustard, Buckthorn and Honeysuckle) they may not be doing the damage that we were first concerned about. The University of Wisconsin Arboretum has conducted extensive studies about these worms. The official jury is still out on them but we remain hopeful that our gardens will survive and that we can one day get back to sharing plants.

See this research update for the UW Arboretum for more information.

Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs are exactly that – brown and stinky! They smell awful and unfortunately seem to pop up in the most unexpected places. They are sluggish and easy to catch however, there might be a few too many hiding out to be able to locate and remove them all. There are no recommended control products. They can be damaging to crops, especially apples, squash, soybeans and corn and they are also known to be found on dogwoods, grasses and cotoneasters. While their numbers are still relatively low in Wisconsin they are expected to increase and add more woes to our gardens.

See this link for the UW Extenstion for more information.